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September 21, 2014

40 fabulous recipes with coconut milk

40 fabulous recipes made with coconut milk, on The Perfect Pantry.

QUESTION: What's convenient to stash in the pantry, white and creamy and dairy-free, and as thick as house paint? Of course, it's coconut milk. Every cuisine incorporates coconut milk; think of curries, soups, sauces, smoothies, and even ice cream. For vegans and folks on a dairy-free food plan, coconut milk stands in perfectly for heavy cream in many recipes, including baked goods like brownies. If you have a few cans of coconut milk in your pantry -- and you should, always -- try some of these ideas for new ways to cook with it, from some of my favorite food blogs. Most of these recipes are dairy-free. All are super tasty.

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September 20, 2014

Peanut butter: like or dislike?

Peanut butter

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. Do you like, dislike, love, crave, despise, wish for, use in your own kitchen? The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell!

It's been decades since I've eaten a peanutbutterandjelly sandwich. Even as a kid, I never liked peanut butter (and I'm not crazy about grape jelly, either). When my friends brought PB&J sandwiches for school lunch, I brought tuna salad, egg salad, or bologna and cheese (yes I did). However, there's always peanut butter in my own pantry. I use it to make sauces, dips, marinades, and my pumpkin "hummus" that's so good at this time of year. My husband Ted can dip a spoon into a jar of peanut butter and lick the spoon like a lollypop. I don't understand that.

Peanut butter: like or dislike?

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September 17, 2014

Italian vegetable soup {vegetarian}

Italian vegetable soup, packed with garden goodness and couscous. #vegetarian

With summer nearly at an end, I decided to celebrate the change in season by stirring up a giant pot of Italian vegetable soup, full of the bits and pieces left in my friends' gardens and passed along to me: zucchini, green beans, a couple of potatoes, fennel, kale, a few heads of garlic. This soup welcomes most stragglers, in any amount, so if your garden didn't give you fennel, but did leave you with more than a few zucchini, simply use what you've got. I added canned tomatoes, which are always on my pantry shelf, but if you have fresh tomatoes, or your own home-canned stewed tomatoes, by all means use those instead. If you're gluten-free, omit the couscous. Vegans can skip the parmesan cheese. And busy moms or dads can make a batch of this soup at the beginning of the week, and add leftover chicken or turkey sausage to make quick school night dinners.

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September 14, 2014

Slow cooker Caribbean pepper pot {gluten-free}

Caribbean pepper pot, filled with chicken, shrimp, squash and kale.

A few weeks ago, I awoke in the middle of the night, craving Caribbean pepper pot. Can you imagine what I was dreaming about? Adventures on the high seas? Salsa dancing on the beach? Bright colored head scarves and flowing tunics? Johnny Depp? I wish I could remember. Not to worry, though: I remembered the important part: spicy stew, filled with the goodness of the islands, and I absolutely had to make it. In my dream there was shrimp and rice and callaloo, a typical dark leafy green grown throughout the Caribbean. It's not impossible to find callaloo at specialty supermarkets, but I swapped kale, which was perfect. Most pepper pot recipes call for fiery hot habañero peppers in terrifying quantities. I substituted several milder jalapeños, and there was still plenty of kick. Please do not omit the pepper. If you don't like spicy food, make another dish. After all, this one is called pepper pot for a reason. I made enough for Ted, Christine, Rebecca, Shweta and Robby, who had his portion for breakfast, and when they polished it off, I regretted I hadn't made more. May the recipe bring you amazing food-filled dreams.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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